About a week before Harrisburg business owner Jay Howard bought his 1967 Porsche 911 S soft window Targa top, he and his wife had Chinese takeout for dinner.
His fortune cookie that night said “Something on 4 wheels will soon be a fun investment for you!” His car is one of the rarest and most desirable Porsche 911 S models, according to Porsche enthusiasts.
Howard’s car and several other 911 models will be on display as part of the Porsche 911’s 50th anniversary exhibit at the Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which runs April 4-7.
Displays also will pay tribute to the 75th anniversary of Edelbrock, named after Vic Edelbrock, a famed racing pioneer and innovator of the automotive performance industry. Elvis Presley’s 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II will be featured, as will an Elvis-inspired menu in the Jailhouse Rock Cafe and an Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.
Howard said he simply wanted an older model Porsche. He found his 911 S in the fall of 2011 with help from Bob Ingram, owner of Road Scholars, which buys, sells and restores Porsches in Raleigh. The company also boasts a collection of roughly 50 Porsches, according to Howard
“When I researched what the car was and realized its rarity, I thought, ‘you can repair and restore a car but you can’t change how rare it is. ...,” Howard said.
That’s when he knew he found his new car.
“If you just tell people it’s a 1967 soft-top Targa, you’ll have their attention,” he said. “For the purists that know Porsche, they will know it’s unique. I was just flattered they asked me to include it in the display.”
His car has most of its original parts and is one of 50 in the U.S., Howard said. It was repainted in the early 1980s, the seats have been replaced and rally lights were added. The car won the Porsche category of the Kirkland Classic Car Show in Washington two years ago.
From Porsche’s introductory model in 1963 through today, the 911 holds the distinction of having been produced for more years than any other car model in history.
Bill Funderud, 68, lives in Huntersville and has owned 42 different Porsches in the last 40 years. He helped organize the 911 50th anniversary display and his red, 1994 RS America 911 will be another model on display with , a 1987 Porsche Carrera, a 1988 Porsche 930 “Slantnose” Cabriolet, a 2002 Porsche 996 Twin Turbo and a 2012 Porsche 911 S and Howard’s car.
“There are Porsches in the 50th anniversary exhibit that I think are extremely rare and a must-see,” Funderud said. One is Howard’s 1967 911 S and the others are the 1988 911 Turbo Slantnose and Funderud’s car. Funderud’s latest Porsche has become one of his favorites. Porsche only manufactured 84 in 1994.
Funderud talked about what made Howard’s car so unique.
“It is an early Porsche 911 S and many collectors prefer the ‘67 since it was the first year for the S,” Funderud said. “It features the original short wheelbase design and a high revving 2.0-liter motor, with 130 BHP. This car is the highest performance variant of the first 911 as it was original conceived and engineered.”
“Good examples of the 1967 Porsche 911 S seems to be the hardest to find and the most desirable of all of the early 911 models. The 1967 911S only weighed 2,358.9 lbs. and had a top speed of 132 miles per hour.”
Funderud said the Porsche display also will showcase examples of Porsche design and engineering that helped create a sport with a rich race history.
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